Module 9 - Changes Over Time

Video 10 of 17
3 min 53 sec
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With deterioration to the brain, this disruption is not instant and changes may take time. We have looked at body changes, noise changes, to show you different ways of communicating, so let us look at some pictures of actions, and I want you to try and translate what the person is trying to tell us. This picture is of dirty cups in a drawer, but why is this person doing this? And what are they trying to tell us? There can be several answers depending on the person and which dementia they have. One answer is they may be tidying up, another is that these are their personal cups. Finally, the one that has been proven to be right on so many occasions is as follows: As the disease progresses, there will be a need to introduce adaptive plates and cups to the person who has dementia. These could be plastic, could be melamine, and maybe the cups will need lids or spouts. In this situation, you now have the person with dementia using an unusual adaptive cup, and yet the families are still using nice normal China cups.

This means that the person with dementia will then feel different and want to use the same cup as they are. Because they have not got that option, they will start to hide the cups to control what they can not have. To resolve this, families, visitors, care staff should mirror the plates and cups they use. We need to make adaptive equipment normal. And therefore, always use the same as they use.

If you have a loved one who has been newly diagnosed, you will not want to think that one day they may defecate or urinate in unusual places. However, this is very common in both individual's own homes, hospitals or care homes. Sometimes you may find a lady with parcels of faeces wrapped in toilet paper in her handbag, so what are they trying to tell us? When a person is diagnosed with dementia, indeed the moment that word comes out of the doctor's mouth, control begins to be taken away from that person. Families will start to control possibly their shopping, their bills, their cooking, what they wear, and then the DVLA come along and even take away their driving license.

Basically, we strip the person of all control. Families will then start to notice that their loved one starts to ask if they can use a toilet, and the reason for this is due to lack of control, therefore the person will seek permission. Because it is such a common communication, I want to help you understand why people with dementia may urinate in unusual places. Let me ask you, what would you do if you needed the toilet when visiting someone else's house? Am I right in saying you would ask? No one has told the person with dementia that they can use the toilet, which explains why the person is urinating in drawers, plant pots, bins, etcetera. They are hiding it because they do not have permission. How do you resolve this though, when a person starts urinating in an unusual place? Every time you see them passing a toilet, just open the door and invite them in. Sometimes they may say, "But I do not need the toilet," and that's fine, but this behaviour will stop. It is simple, it is translated and a great solution.